I’ve been a fan of candied flowers since the third grade when my teacher (who btw was never nice) did one nice thing – she held a candied flower workshop. We made candied lilacs, and ever since I’ve been into them. Candied flowers are perfect for a green wedding too; with many uses and eco-perks…
- Edible candied flowers can be used as toppers for cakes, pies, sorbet, ice cream, truffles, and cupcakes.
- Bag them up and give as sweet wedding guest gifts.
- Add them atop beverages.
- Decor for many dishes such as fruit salad or around a holiday wedding table.
- They’re an inexpensive decor item and edible treat.
- They don’t create waste – they vanish into bellies and if not eaten of course they completely biodegrade.
- They taste fabulous.
Excellent flowers to crystallize for green weddings: Lilacs, violets, rose petals, cowslip, angelica, rosemary, sage, pinks, borage, primroses, and lavender. Leaves such as lemon balm, lemon verbena, mint, and bergmot can also be coated with sugar. Really, any edible plant can be crystallized. Just make sure you research which flowers and leaves are safe to eat before using them to make candied flowers.
Health matters: Flowers used for candied flowers need to be home grown or purchased from a reliable organic flower source. Flowers laced with sugar are cool – flowers laced with pesticides don’t belong at your green wedding.
How to make candied flowers and candied leaves:
- Pick flowers on a sunny dry day – you don’t want wet petals.
- Remove all stalks and white bases from petals, also remove any sharp edges, thorns, and petals that look icky. Once you coat a flower with sugar it’ll make any problems stand out.
- Lightly beat an egg white until just foamy.
- Dip each flower into the egg white to coat. Make sure to use plastic tweezers if holding by the petals (metal will bruise petals).
- Dip into organic caster sugar.
- Place on wax paper atop a wire cooling rack.
- Place in your extremely low heated oven with the door slightly open. You can also dry flowers in a well enclosed solar oven or a hot greenhouse but note, small flowers are delicate and will blow away.
- Once your flowers are nicely dry in the oven (not sticky or dusty to the touch) they’re done.
Candied flower storage and handling:
- If you store your candied flowers in a moisture-free, air-tight containers, at room temperature (no direct sunlight) they should last a good long while. If you’re making these for a wedding, I’d make them no more than a month in advance.
- Place your candied flowers your cake or other food item about 24-48 hours prior to the event; note – you can store these in the fridge or freezer once on a cake but store your cake uncovered. Placing a cover over may create too much moisture for the flowers.
- To attach flowers to a wedding cake use a tiny drop of icing and be careful, as your flowers are delicate.
- Meadowsweets sells a Flower Crystallization Kit which includes directions, sample crystallized flower, plus the ingredients and tools needed to crystallize approximately 75 flowers.
- Edible Flowers: Desserts & Drinks
- Edible Flowers: From garden to kitchen: growing flowers you can eat, with a directory of 40 edible varieties and 25 recipes, with 350 glorious colour photographs.
Buy ready made crystallized flowers & organic edible flowers:
- Meadowsweets – offers Pansy, Viola, Johnny-jump-up, Lavender, Daisy, Cornflower, Roses and Scented Geranium Blossom.
- India Tree Candied Rose Petals
- Edible Dried Flower Petals and Fresh Edible Flowers from Langford Foods.
- India Tree Candied Violets
- Organic Edible Flower Mix – to make your candied flowers with.
- Crystallized Flower Company
- Search at Local Harvest for a nearby organic flower retailer – it’s much better and fresher to purchase local organic flowers when possible.
Pretty recipe ideas:
- Tea Cake with Candied Flowers
- Orange Blossom Cake with Candied Orchids
- White Cake, Orange Zest, & Crystallized Flowers
Carrot Cake image via Flickr